80% Of Cord Cutters Leave Because Of High Cable TV Prices, But The Industry Still Refuses To Compete On Price

from the it's-not-a-problem-if-we-ignore-it,-right? dept

A new study from Tivo (pdf) notes that nearly half of current pay TV subscribers are considering cutting the cord this year. That's not particularly surprising given the fact that the first quarter set cord cutting records, and the second quarter is expected to be significantly worse. Similarly unsurprising is the fact that of these defecting customers, roughly 80% of those departing say they're doing so because traditional cable TV service is simply too expensive:

37.1% of respondents spent at least $101 per month on cable TV, with some spending upwards of $150 per month, with trends only aiming higher. While cable providers often pay ample lip service to "providing value," the entire cable and broadcast sector continues to believe that it can simply refuse to compete on price with a growing roster of streaming competitors now arriving at the gates of their beloved cash cow.

Case in point is Charter Communications, which after a recent acquisition spree has been raising TV rates upwards of 40% despite the supposed bump in competition. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, who was deemed to be the highest paid executive in the United States last year at $98 million, has insisted that these customers were simply "mispriced" under previous ownership and needed to be nudged in the "right direction" (read: paying even more money for the same service they already thought was too expensive):

"It’s a difficult thing to model. But we’re coming at it both ways, both from creating a value proposition in the pricing and packaging we have, and doing those smart things that you can do with an existing customer base that’s been mispriced to move them in the right direction."

That's gibberish, and shockingly, this kind of tone deafness to the overall trajectory of the cable sector is only causing a spike in cable TV defections at the company, which lost more than 100,000 cable TV subscribers last quarter. Tivo makes it clear that the cable industry can't continue the ongoing head-in-the-sand approach to dealing with the rise of cord cutting and streaming competition:

When the increase in monthly bills is coupled with the fact that 81.4% of unsatisfied respondents selected “Too expensive/increase fees for cable/satellite service,” it becomes evident that something must be done about this group. With more options than ever for TV in 2017, consumers continue to get smarter about their TV options, and many have discovered ways to access TV for far less than $100 a month. Skinny buddle offerings have increased, too, and options include Dish Networks’ SlingTV, DIRECTV NOW and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

Instead of competing on price and package flexibility, most large cable companies (like Comcast) have responded to cord cutting by not only raising TV rates, but ramping up deployment of arbitrary and unnecessary broadband usage caps and "overage fees", allowing them to counter any lost TV revenues with broadband price hikes, and punish folks looking to wander away from Comcast's own TV walled garden. But Charter is prohibited from using caps for another six years as a condition of its recent megamerger, conditions the FCC has started to slowly but surely nibble away at.

Still, the cable industry has at least progressed in one meaningful metric: a few years ago it denied any of this was happening whatsoever.


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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 5:49am

    Tom may be correct...

    ... if by "move them in the right direction" he meant "towards the exit"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:22am

    Another cord cutting piece? Your axe must be getting mighty sharp by now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:29am

      Re:

      Those cords are tough to cut.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re:

        Don't I know it! I have Comcast. I wanted Internet only and it was cheaper to get their dumb bundle of Internet and basic cable Channels which is really just mostly the local channels and HBO, plus a basic cable Box then Internet only!!! When you get Internet Only they jack up the price.

        So I don't even use the cable box. It's still in the box that it came in. I don't want to run a cable for it. I don't need it. I get my Local channels with a Antenna which is a better picture anyway which is connected to my TIVO. So really Tivo with Antenna, or watch 1 show at the time it airs using the cable box, pretty easy pick. As for HBO, I use the HBOGo app on my Apple TV and ROKU's. Comcast won't let it work on Tivo even though there is a HBOGo app for Tivo.

        One thing everyone needs to do is when you're 1 year deal is up and they jack your prices up, call Comcast and get on another new 1 year deal once again to get your costs back down.

        One thing is for sure, the numbers would be far, far worse if people could do what they really wanted and cut all the crap and have Internet only. Comcast is doing all they can to keep that from happening.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:18am

        Re: which customers are they after

        Maybe the cable TV companies think a segmented TV market will remain very profitable... even if many consumers opt out for cheaper alternatives.

        Lots a people eat out at only lower end fast-food/low-price restaurants -- but there are still good business profits at middle & high end restaurants. Profit margins are higher when catering to higher end customers

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: which customers are they after

          So you are saying that with large numbers of cancellations the price for remaining customers will increase and this will not cause disruption in the industry?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      Maybe you mean: another cord cutting denial troll?

      Clue: re-re-reporting on cable tv cord cutting, which is a real and newsworthy phenomena, becomes more and more newsworthy as the cable tv industry tries to hide and deny it. Like pouring gasoline on a fire.

      The bright light of daylight (journalism) sends the cockroaches scurrying. And I'm talking about the cable tv cord cutting, not the Trump administration.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        >journalism

        So regurgitating TiVO's press releases counts as journalism these days?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you claiming that "better" sources of journalism do not refer to press releases? Perhaps a few examples would be in order.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2017 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Umm, reporting press releases from companies has been something journalists have been doing for over 70 years. Especially when they mention something interesting about the market they are in. You must be new here, welcome to the world.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          DannyB (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 6:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So regurgitating TiVO's press releases counts as journalism these days?

          In general no. But in certain instances, yes, it can. If the press release is factual. If the very act of it having to be re-issued to counter false information makes it newsworthy, then yes, it can be journalism.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      Yeah - why bother with discussing a collapsing industry?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:04am

      Re: recycling

      ...hey, it's Monday morning -- takes a while to gear up.

      Recycling old well-worn stories/themes is standard practice in the media.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      Well, companies should stop bloody lying about the costs to their customers in every interaction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:30am

    The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

    The high prices I had to pay to watch their commercials, punctuated, with occasional re-re-reruns of entertainment, was just too high. After an insanely long string of commercials, the entertainment would return, but then characters would walk out onto the screen. Or popup ads obscuring the content. Constant logos on the screen.

    I simply felt that cable tv was charging way too much for this level of abuse. If they are going to charge me this much money, they should be a lot more abusive. At least Comcast won't allow you to cancel your cable tv under any circumstances.

    Dear cable tv: mend your ways! For a change, why don't you try forcing people into two year contracts like mobile phone companies do!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      macwhiz, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:49am

      Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

      Not only that, but the picture and audio quality generally sucks compared to streaming. Rather than upgrading their plants to support more bandwidth, many cable companies instead chose to overcompress channels, sacrificing quality. The need to dedicate 32 channels to Internet service hasn't helped.

      The biggest thing that pushes me toward cutting the cord is the idea that I could watch the same shows with vastly better picture and sound quality, without crap all over the bottom of the screen, and without commercials for a fraction of the cost if I'm just willing to wait... or about the same cost if I pay for the show on iTunes or Amazon.

      If I didn't live at the fringes of broadcast TV reception (and that was in the long-range analog VHF days), I probably would've cut the cord by now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

        Or speed shows up to squeeze another commercial into them.

        My #1 reason for cutting cable TV is dealing with fucking commercialism interrupting my enjoyment.

        Here is multiple commercials at the start.
        Here is multiple commercials at several mid points complete with shows specifically WRITTEN to create mid viewing cliff hangers across a fucking commercial line up.
        Here is a fucking commercial line up squeezed into the end credits where I "occasionally" enjoy the ending music, out-takes, or other end credit animations and entertainment.

        Seriously... FUCK THEM!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:37am

          Re: Re: Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

          Yeah, a BUNCH of channels now routinely run long and then run the opening credits of the next show while running the closing credits for the previous show. They have to shrink both to get them to fit, and often completely mute the previous show to avoid the sounds mixing and becoming unintelligible... or sometimes they don't and you get an unintelligible mess until the credits for the previous show are done. They shrink the previous show's credit more and very often make them twice as fast, so you can't read them anyway, so why even bother showing them if no one can read them or hear the closing music? All you're doing is degrading the opening of the next show for NOTHING.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            NinjaYurtletheTurtle, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

            The other question regarding unreadable credits is; many actors and off-screen personnel have specific clauses in their contracts about appearing in credits and making sure they show up so people can SEE them. I'm surprised someone hasn't sued already.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:59am

      Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

      "The high prices I had to pay to watch their commercials, punctuated, with occasional re-re-reruns of entertainment, was just too high"

      Seconded

      With the average monthly bill exceeding 100 bucks, how many movies could one purchase with that same amount? And how many movies or even good shows does the average subscriber watch in one month?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:14am

      Re: The high prices weren't worth what I was getting

      OMG Yes on the popup ads obscuring the screen. One thing I love about Amazon/Netflix is that nonsense is gone. I do not want to be constantly advertised with "what's next" that makes it hard to watch 'what's now". It really detracts from the content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    My_Name_Here, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:35am

    Simple math, really

    There is some simple math here, and some more complex stuff.

    First the simple math (and this is the same reasoning that prices Pay Per View sports): Lowering the price 25% doesn't increase the bottom line enough to make up for the money lost giving your existing customers a big price drop.

    There are a finite number of potential cable subscribers. You can only get so many before you have reached saturation or near saturation in the market.

    If each customer is $100 a month, and you have a million, your gross income is 100 million. Lose 25% of them (cable cutters) and you have 75 million of income. If you drop your price 25% to try to get some of them back (and you succeed in getting half back, you have 875,000 subscribers but now at only $75 each - now only 65 million of income. So making the significant price drop that consumers expect may not give you the desired bottom line result.

    Now, you also have to consider that most cable companies aren't keeping as much of their income as you think. They are paying out fairly sizable amounts for programming services, and that is often a rate fixed by the number of subscribers and not a flat amount. So unless those rates drop significantly, any price drop comes only from their margin area, and not anything else. So if they have a 25% gross margin, dropping the price by 25% will in fact leave them with no margin, so it's not possible.

    There has been huge drops in advertising rates for many channels. As their income drops, they try to make it up by forcing the cable companies to pay more for the channels, and that fee is passed on to the consumer. So blaming the cable companies is a bit misleading, as the costs are as much driven by the content producers / channels as the cable companies themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 10:12am

      Re: Simple math, really

      Unless you are someone like Comcast who also happens to own a sizable portion of the channels you have to offer. In that case, you get to keep all of that programming money as well. Since you could drop the cost to consumers to less than $10 a month and still turn a profit, everything is profit and you just have to manage to convince everyone that your prices are out of your control.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:23am

      Re: Simple math, really

      But moving the pricing "in the right direction" by charging them $133 (keeping your 100 million revenue) is likely to cause more customers to see little value proposition and leave.

      Cable TV has been around for 40 years. Maybe we are seeing the collapse of them, much like we watched the collapse of Blockbuster.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 2:29pm

      Profitability changes as the market does

      Dropping the price in order to entice people back and/or keep more people from leaving may be less profitable than it originally was, but if that 25% left primarily because the price was too high then keeping it where it is is likely to result in bleeding off more people, and if you increase it you're just driving them off even quicker.

      They have real competition now in streaming services which mean they are not going to be able to manage the same level of profits as when they were the only source, and the sooner they realize this the better a position they will be to at least maintain some profitability.

      If they continue with the idea that they made X yesterday so they should make X today, regardless of how things have changed they're only going to drive off their customers even faster.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        My_Name_Here, 19 Jun 2017 @ 5:30pm

        Re: Profitability changes as the market does

        "If they continue with the idea that they made X yesterday so they should make X today, regardless of how things have changed they're only going to drive off their customers even faster."

        You are correct. However, they are in the old rock and a hard place situation. They don't have the margins to be able to drop the prices enough to entice those who leave because of price to come back, without destroying what business they do have.

        Contrary to what some may think, cable isn't a 90% margin business (say like Google ads). It's actually pretty low margin once you pay for programming, pay for the physical plant and installations, the staff, the maintenance, support, and all.

        The programming side (channel providers) isn't that much better. They have pushed their rates up in no small part because of diminishing advertising sales. They too are running a relatively low margin business, big volume but small margin. They keep the costs high because they want to keep producing and buying the best content they can get.

        So it's sort of all a catch 22. Without accepting that the original content must be made cheaper (or lower quality) to trickle down lower costs to consumers, there isn't a lot of place to go. If they do it, potentially the quality of the product is no longer going to be what the consumer wants anyway. Then consumers will demand lower prices, and so on.

        Not sure what there is a winning solution, it's certainly not as simple as it's painted here!

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 1:37am

          Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

          "Not sure what there is a winning solution, it's certainly not as simple as it's painted here!"

          Especially not if you deliberately present an oversimplified version of the solutions suggested here, since your favoured strawmen are much easier to address if you ignore the arguments raised in numerous previous articles. There's at least 2 major suggestions you're pretending have never been offered, presumably because you haven't found a way to deal with the fact that they're correct.

          There's also the issue of the industry having dug its own grave - do you remember executives constantly either mocking the idea that the was a problem looming or simply pretending the issues didn't exist until they'd been chipping at their customer base for years, thus making it much more difficult to combat them?

          It's true. Try searching instead of pissing around with Tor settings to avoid this community's criticism, you may find that more productive.

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          • icon
            MyNameHere (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 4:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

            Hi Paul, nice to see you can't help but attack me personally. I will ignore it, it's just funny to watch you go.

            The points are "over simplified" because I don't want people to get stuck in the minutia of 1% here or 3% there. I am just pointing out that a serious price drop in a subscription model is rarely good for the bottom line, and even if it results in recouping the customers who are interested it's unlikely to make for a better bottom line.

            These are generally publicly traded companies. They are beholden to their shareholders and are suppose to do what's best for the bottom line of the company.

            As for digging their own graves, just remember that the term "cord cutters" is an insane misnomer. Most Americans who "cut the cord" generally drop the cable part of their subscription and then pay much more for slightly higher speed internet from the same company.

            As for TOR, I don't use it. I have been sending all of you the dummy because you are silly enough to fall for it. I did mention however that the method used by Techdirt to block me generally has been to just automatically add whatever IP my ISP assigns to me to the TOR list, which in turn pushed all posts into moderation (not flagged by users, but moderation on submit). However, a recent update by my ISP and at my end as well means that I have full IPv6 now, and apparently the TOR blocker doesn't work on that (yet).

            So no searching required. As per normal, you missed my points and tried to make it into something else, and as per normal, you failed. Have a nice day!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 4:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

              "Hi Paul, nice to see you can't help but attack me personally."

              That was an attack? Don't like what I say to you, stop lying.

              " I am just pointing out that a serious price drop in a subscription model is rarely good for the bottom line"

              Neither are arbitrary price rises. More effective would be the changes to the packaging and other systems used by these companies which are both based in market realities from last century and reduce the value offered to customers who increasingly want bespoke choices.

              But, you won't address these kind of things that have actually been said be people here, because it interferes with your bullshit narrative.

              "They are beholden to their shareholders and are suppose to do what's best for the bottom line of the company."

              Supposed to, yes. But, because they have a short-term mindset and have refused to recognise fundamental changes to their marketplaces, this is not what's happening.

              "As for TOR, I don't use it"
              "whatever IP my ISP assigns to me to the TOR list"
              "the TOR blocker doesn't work on that"

              So, you still really don't understand the fundamentals of what you're complaining about? Or, are you so ignorant that you think that the IP list used by the spam filter here has something to do with Tor?

              The only reason why Tor is ever brought up here is because you (or one of your claimed doppelgangers) is whining that you can't use it to bypass the spam filter effectively. If you're not using it, why do you keep mentioning Tor? It has nothing to do with this site otherwise?

              "I did mention however that the method used by Techdirt to block me generally has been to just automatically add whatever IP my ISP assigns to me to the TOR list"

              Which isn't true. They send posts from IPs that have been flagged as spam or trolling by the community here to a spam filter, which is then manually moderated. You should find that your messages are filtered less while you have a login (as that typically means they won't be flagged as spam), but you still only have yourself to blame when your lies and trolling are still flagged as such by people tired of your shit.

              So, again, you've avoided actually answering the points raised by the article, and ended up on a self-important whining session attacking others on the site when called out as the liar you are.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                MyNameHere (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 5:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                Pretty much all of your post is wrong.



                "Which isn't true. They send posts from IPs that have been flagged as spam or trolling by the community here to a spam filter, which is then manually moderated."

                Not true. My ISP changes my IP reasonably often over a wide range of IPs (at least 3 different class As, and as a result there is a huge number of possible IPs). Since a post made immediately after an IP change heads directly to moderation, there is only one conclusion to draw. Clearly, it's not driven by flags. You aren't on the receiving end of this treatment, so you have no clue. Stop stating as fact what just isn't proven.

                "Neither are arbitrary price rises. More effective would be the changes to the packaging and other systems used by these companies which are both based in market realities from last century and reduce the value offered to customers who increasingly want bespoke choices."

                Not as simple as you make it sound. if changing packages around would lead to a drop in per subscriber income, or would encourage existing (and reasonably satisfied customers) to drop to a lower tier, you are shooting yourself in the foot.

                Cannibalizing your existing subscriber base to try to attract back a smaller group of lost clients may not be the best bottom line choice, that's all. It's a basic business concept that perhaps Mike can explain better for you one day.

                "you've avoided actually answering the points raised by the article"

                Nope, I addressed them very directly. The cable industry doesn't "Refuse(s) To Compete On Price" as the article suggests, rather they are unable to arrive at a business model under the current circumstances that is better than the current model - and that is my point entirely.

                I didn't figure you would miss it. Next time I try to draw with crayons so you can follow along.

                Oh, and calling me a liar? Just keep attacking Paul, it makes you look classy.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 5:38am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                  "Since a post made immediately after an IP change heads directly to moderation, there is only one conclusion to draw."

                  That your ISP only has a limited pool of IPs to choose from, and they regularly assign one that you've had flagged before? That you're not the only user of your ISP getting flagged here (either for trolling or some actual spamming), so other IPs are tainted before you've been able to use them? That so many of your posts get flagged that it sometimes causes an entire subnet to be flagged? That since your ISP is assigning new IP on such a regular basis, it's causing their IPs to be flagged on external spam blacklists that TD may be utilising?

                  There's many more than one conclusion. Yet again, you have to invent a simplistic situation and ignore all other scenarios and evidence to pretend you're right about something. That really is pathetic. Well, not as pathetic as your pathological need to whine about a conspiracy every time you get caught in a filter that causes most of us to shrug our shoulders and wait for moderation like adults, but it's close.

                  "Not as simple as you make it sound."

                  Indeed. Which is why it would have been useful for them to start looking at ways to do things correctly when the writing on the wall appeared 5+ years ago, instead of pretending that everyone warning of the was making it up. Instead, they've waited until there's a concrete negative effect on their bottom line, and instead of making workable long-term changes they're simply putting prices up on people who haven't left yet.

                  Nobody expects them to turn on a dime, so to speak. It's just that raising prices on customers who are already leaving them based on price isn't going to keep them there either. Especially since those higher prices are a further barrier to gaining new customers (other research suggests that younger people aren't signing up for new cable packages when leaving home, avoiding cable entirely for reason that include the high price and lower value for money that come with it).

                  What you claim is difficult may well be such, but it's their own fault that they are trying to make those moves now rather than in 2010 when everyone else noticed the trends.

                  "Nope, I addressed them very directly."

                  No, you didn't. You cherry picked one aspect that you preferred to address, ignored every other argument until called out directly and then whined about being so hard done by before bothering to acknowledge them.

                  "Oh, and calling me a liar?"

                  Yes, people who lie about me get called that a lot. There's an easy way to stop earning that name if it offends you. But, thanks for registering the login! That means that your posts can be trackable and you don't have the "it wasn't me it was a mysterious imposter" excuse when called out. An honest gentleman wouldn't have a problem with this, I'll give you a few more posts before you either try to deny what you've clearly said or ditch this identity completely in favour of a new one that allows you to be dishonest again.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    MyNameHere (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 1:43am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                    I just think you are sore because you came to realize that someone else has been trolling you hard as hell.

                    Look, you don't like what i say, who cares? Nothing you post says much, you talk in circles and try to find ways to blame me for everything. Not going to work.

                    I'm back dude, get use to it.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 2:05am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                      So, no answer to any of my points, no answer to the facts I corrected you with. Certainly no explanation as to why I'm wrong, even though I explained your fallacies. Just some self-satisfying whining?

                      Your newly minted handle is off to a sterling start. This is good, it's nice to have a searchable record of your behaviour that you can't deny as soon as someone points out how stupid you are.

                      "someone else has been trolling you hard as hell."

                      So you claim. But, we only have your word for that, and your word is worth very little given how wrong you usually are about everything else you claim.

                      "Look, you don't like what i say, who cares?"

                      Given the fact that you need to respond to me, even when you have nothing but paragraphs of childish wailing because you feel the facts presented to you are unfair (but, of course, never addressing why)? Apparently, you care quite a lot.

                      "I'm back dude, get use to it."

                      Back? So, you admit that you're one of the idiotic trolls we've had to suffer before, you just changed your name to avoid accountability for your lies & more embarrassing failures? That might be the most honest thing you've stated here for a while.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2017 @ 4:27am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                        It's the retort of a sad, pathetic, obsessed dumbfuck who's just stopped short of admitting that he's being contrarian for the sole reason of being an asshole, which he dressed up as a poor attempt to sound intellectual. Cop shot a homeless unarmed man? Obviously the cop's life was in danger. Shiva sues everyone who disagrees with him? Obviously he invented a form of email so influential it must be true. John Steele got punished for fraud? Obviously the judge hates copyright!

                        He says he's back - but the truth is, he never left. He's just here to be an ass, then wonders why he gets reported.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        The Wanderer (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 6:42am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                        No, I think he's saying that he went away for a while, then came back, and is now still present.

                        I do think I remember a period where there were posts from My_Name_Here, then one where there weren't, and now again one where there are - which would seem to fit with that.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 7:14am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

                          Well, maybe. But, between people instigating Poe's Law and numerous anonymous comments that seem suspicious similar in tone and content, it's hard to tell.

                          He could be one of the dumber trolls who keeps coming back under different names, he could be a new one who has insisted on not creating an account until recently (though, laughably, has managed to choose a slightly different name after months of whining that "his" name is being used by other people). He could have been away for weeks without anyone noticing, he could be lying about that as he does many other things.

                          As ever, his lack of maturity in communicating ideas and past refusal to be accountable for his posting history makes his statements nonsense.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2017 @ 4:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Profitability changes as the market does

              And this stops you logging out to comment on your mobile phone? Haha, not a chance. Everyone knows you're stuck on your inane shit to bitch about Wheeler, Wyden or anyone that doesn't toe the authoritarian line.

              Things aren't going so well for Paul Hansmeier.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 5:01pm

      Re: Simple math, really

      ...and that is why they pay one person $98 million a year...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:44am

    You know what's worse for them? Once you cut the cord you probably won't ever look back. I've yet to meet anybody who cut the cord and signed up again eventually, including myself. So this 'head-in-the-sand' approach they are taking will harm them even if they decide to take their collective heads out of the sand and actually lower their prices.

    I'm really cheering on some Kodak-like death in the sector for the lulz.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:03am

      Re:

      "I've yet to meet anybody who cut the cord and signed up again eventually, including myself."

      Guilty here, my wife started missing having "background noise" Seriously! I recently managed to talk her back to having internet only!

      In fact, I am about to add a 2nd ISP to the household for redundancy purposes. Nothing sucks more than losing your connection while waiting for the fucks to get around to my problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Long (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:10am

      Re:

      I cut over two years ago, and while I still watch some TV, almost all of it comes from Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now (total cost: $37/mo).

      Occasionally when I'm on a trip I'll turn on the TV in the hotel room and try to watch "normal" television, with all of the ads and crawlers and interstitials and interrupters... and I wonder just who would be dumb enough to pay over $100/mo for that kind of abuse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      I cut the cord and went a few years with Internet only. I was perfectly happy and would still be doing it. But the simple fact is, at least with Comcast, it's cheaper to get one of their dumb bundles then Internet only. I've tried!!!

      So I have a package with basic local channels and a free basic cable Box, which I don't even have hooked up. So I watch none of those channels on cable. I use my Antenna which has a TIVO connected to it. Far better that way. I also had a choice between Showtime or HBO so I picked HBO, I just use the HBOGo app on my devices, though Comcast doesn't allow HBOGo app to work on Tivo. I hardly even watch HBO.

      So I have this dumb bundle just because it's cheaper then Internet only where they jack prices up for Internet only. So I'm sure the cord cutter numbers would be far worse if it wasn't for crap like this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:53am

    Skinny bundles

    Or, more accurately, ala carte. I really only watch a few channels. Unfortunately, they're (e.g. Smithsonian) all on the highest tier with my provider. So I pay for huge numbers of sports and other channels that I've never even tuned to. If I try to drop TV, my internet cost doubles.

    The cable industry complains access fees are killing them. Why not let US reduce those fees?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MediaFreedom (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:09am

    Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

    We should evict all the cyberspace bureacrats, as Dan Berninger suggests here:

    https://youtu.be/167u99Z4Tf0

    Govt ain't the answer if one thinks competition "stinks."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:28am

      Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

      Watch it... Bureaucrats are a favorite around here.

      Most people feel that it is an easy to corrupt politicians job to manage their economic decisions for them. I don't want to have to waste my time figuring out which business operates in my best interest so instead I want to farm it out of a Bureaucrat that they can buy while I bitch about things still not going my way.

      We prefer to run towards government corruption to escape private business corruption. I know it does not make any sense but that is how it goes! Just like the cable lobby self destructing by going overboard with ads for revenue we self destruct by giving away our own voices in the economy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

        Are you suggesting that laissez faire capitalism would be better than what we have today? Unbridled is a rich persons wet dream, you familiar with a company called Pullman? Many others were doing similar crap. But it was much better back then huh ...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

          Is it easier to fight a private monopoly or a government blessed monopoly?

          I do not like the thought of either, but putting in regulations and then no enforcing them properly was the original sin that got us here. Not sure what more regulations are going to get us.

          So if given the choice, I would rather fight the lesser powerful of two evils. Government can murder us under the guise of "that citizen made me fear for my life" excuses.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

            Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 6:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

            It's easier to influence the government to change something than to influence a private monopoly to do so.

            If the government is doing the wrong thing, the solution is to push to change what the government does, not to hand the domain over to a private monopoly instead.

            (Handing it over to a private non-monopoly might be even better, except that the tendency in some markets is for that to devolve into monopoly over time anyway unless some outside force - such as government - acts to prevent it.)

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 7:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

              Yeah, that's the problem with the usual anti-regulation whining. If you remove government regulation and hand control totally over to corporate entities, you're actually asking for less rights and control than you have with even the worst government regulators. Other than a "free market will fix all" fantasy, these guys never address what has been proven over and over by history - given complete control, the rights, lives and welfare of ordinary people mean nothing in pursuit of profit. The best situations involve a balance of capitalism and government regulation, and if corruption is causing an imbalance, you fix it, not remove it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 6:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

          He's just mad they banned leaded chocolate chips.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 2:38pm

        Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

        Watch it... Bureaucrats are a favorite around here.

        You keep saying this, despite the fact it is objectively untrue, and the fact that we regularly criticize bureaucrats.

        Why?

        It seems that your so focused on misunderstanding what we write, that you constantly post nonsense. Yes, we support net neutrality, as a kind of first amendment/anti-slapp law for the internet (and, remember, you've now claimed you like anti-slapp laws). We don't "support" bureaucrats -- we regularly mock and make fun of most of them.

        I don't understand why you feel the need to constantly misrepresent stuff. It's something you should look into.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          My_Name_Here, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

          In fairness, you do seem to like bureaucrats and congress critters when they are doing it your way. You loves Wheeler writing new law from the FCC office, with the title II and net neutrality issues.

          You do of course love Wyden and his (rarely discussed) siren.

          You do mock the rest of them, but you have your faves, that is for sure (oh, and apparently your TOR blocker doesn't handle IPv6 really well... oversight?).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 20 Jun 2017 @ 1:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

            It's a shame that's you're so much more obsessed with whether or not you can play parlour games to avoid the spam filter than you are with posting facts.

            Well, IPv6 will give you a little buffer before all the community members you attack and are tired or your schtick get enough reports to get you filtered again (not censored, and not by Mike as you regularly claim).

            Is your life really so empty that this seems like a productive way to use it?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              MyNameHere (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 1:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

              Can you actually point to a single attack outside of pointing out your general lack of manhood?

              Gotta ask you: Is your life so productive that attacking me mindlessly is your most productive way to use it?

              You are way to easy to provoke, and way too ignorant to know when you have been trolled.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 21 Jun 2017 @ 2:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

                "Can you actually point to a single attack outside of pointing out your general lack of manhood?"

                The fact that you think that kind of thing is a genuine argument says a lot more about you than me.

                But, at least you admit to being the misogynist little shit who thinks that pretending that everyone else here is the same female community member, and that their gender automatically invalidates any comments, rather than addressing any of the points raised. That helps determine how valid any of your other words are.

                "Gotta ask you: Is your life so productive that attacking me mindlessly is your most productive way to use it?"

                As I've often stated, I only post here during downtime at work, so I'm indirectly paid for this. My personal time is too valuable to deal with idiots like you. But, since I only ever "attack" you (read: respond to and correct your posts) after you've posted, you by definition are here more than me and therefore have a much emptier life. Doubly so, since you never contribute anything to adult conversation.

                "You are way to easy to provoke, and way too ignorant to know when you have been trolled."

                You also admit to being a troll. Why then, you you whine so endlessly when your posts are flagged for trolling?

                I respond to you to correct bullshit that might be believed by less informed casual readers. You not only admit to being a liar, but have such a sad pathetic life that you think that trolling is a good pastime. Yet, it's everyone else who's wrong, huh?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2017 @ 4:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marketplace making choice beats bureaucrats doing it for us

                You are way to easy to provoke

                Physician heal thyself!

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:13am

    It's the freeloaders!

    Clearly something needs to be done about all those people watching TV without paying. The number of people admitting to using an antenna is up 5.3% q/q.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 19 Jun 2017 @ 7:55am

    Why NOT cable

    1) 2yr agreements. (If it is a great product/service you won't need to lock me in for so long)

    2) 300 channels and one or two shows I might want to watch, maybe. Let me pick ten networks myself and toss all the rest so I don't have to spend 10 minutes scrolling through the guide to find something to watch.

    3) Ad nauseum, nuff said

    4) Pop-ups during a show. My personal favorite is when it covers the subtitles. Just awesome!

    5) "This event is not available in your viewing area", seriously? Fuck-off!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McGyver (profile), 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:21am

    Aren't most... Er... All cable providers also ISPs... Seems logical they would want to milk the dying industry for every last drop, install their mouthpiece Mr. Pai to kill net neutrality so they can dictate how the Internet is run and after killing off cable have a totally clean playing field that they absolutely control....
    It's probably more complicated than that, but it seems like a feasible root plan...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:24am

    So their new plan is instead of denying cord cutting exists is to punish their subscribers with data caps and making it so they have no choice.

    They do know you can only kick a dog so many times before they decide to bite back right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 8:36am

    Well, what incentive do they have to compete on price? If their numbers start to reach undeniably poor levels they could always throw themselves at the government's feet and whine about piracy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 10:08am

    Cheap universal Internet

    As soon as Musk launches his satellite based internet, the cable industry will implode. It can't see past the next quarter financial forecast and I would suggest selling now if you have any stock in them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 10:24am

      Re: Cheap universal Internet

      Dream on, as I have yet to see how hundreds of satellites can serve an area like Manhattan Island. That would require steerable narrow beam aerials on the ground, probably electronically steered flat panel array of significant size, probably several meter per side.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 11:20am

    In the Defense of Cable Companies...

    Hold your pitchforks for a second, I'm going somewhere with this.

    The cable TV industry is clearly hurting and it's executive decision makers can't see more than 3 feet in front of them when it comes to fixing things. Maybe it's not all corporate greed though?

    Many television broadcast stations demand a king's ransom of money from cable companies to cover "basic operating costs". These costs are usually the fees of carrying high profile television shows (everything from premier broadcasts of survivor to reruns of Seinfeld). Those shows cost up to millions to produce because paying for actors, writers, directors, and art interns is not cheap. all of that staffing costs a lot because other television projects are making competing bids so their show can be paid big money by TV stations who can get big money from advertisers so they can pay for the shows they produce to get more money from advertisers and yadda yadda yadda.

    Also don't forget that everyone listed above has everyone else locked into multi-year contracts that are not even remotely in sync.

    Yes, cable prices are too high for way too little service. It's not like they can flip a switch and provide a proper service-to-price ratio. Even if all these CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and SOBs take paycuts down to minimum wage it probably wouldn't even dent current licensing fees.

    We're just going to have to wait for Cable Tv to die of natural causes and be replaced by more useful services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mjfrangos, 19 Jun 2017 @ 12:08pm

    expensive cable

    verizon took me to the cleaners....205 a month for retundand programming.
    they tried to talk me keeping heir fios but im getting out period....then i kept the land line and internet at $140 a month. then the surprise....$200 for cancelling!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2017 @ 2:36pm

    Probably best not to call an ecosystem that shows such flagrant contempt to those stuck in it as a "walled garden". Gardens are pleasant by default. What Comcast does is hardly pleasant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2017 @ 7:42am

    Who is even opposed to cord cutting? Seniors who reflexively are against charge? I'll be glad when cable tv is dead and gone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Helen, 21 Aug 2017 @ 4:44pm

    Tech clueless and just took the plunge

    I'm 47, my kids barely watch TV, they just go on their laptops or play computer games like League of Legends or WOW. I'm so over my new cable bill. I thought it was stay the same and I was okay paying that but it went up by $20 and no new add ons. Hell if they'd just give me all the movie channels, I would have stayed. They seem to be focused on TV. Can I repeat, my kids don't watch TV and all I watch are movies. Oh well, fire stick or fire tv here I come, let's see how this works out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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